Holding the Fort
WHILE the country may be carolling and wassailing, Argyle boss Derek Adams is planning business as usual.
The Greens begin their Christmas schedule against Oldham Athletic on Saturday. This is to be followed by trips to Milton Keynes and Blackpool to round off the year, before a January 1 game at Home Park against Walsall. The miles on the road will see Derek, the lads and the Green Army notch more miles on the road than any other English professional club over the festive period.
Derek intends to treat the schedule just as if it were a a sequence at any stage of the season.
He said: “We will train today and tomorrow, play against Oldham on Saturday, then Sunday and Monday we will be in. Christmas Day we will train and travel to Milton Keynes.
“We travel by bus so it will take us 6/7 hours. That’s the way it is and we will have to get on with it. It is an important time for so many football clubs.
"It is a busy time for most football clubs as everyone is on holiday. A lot of people get excited and there are the biggest crowds of the season as people come home from foreign countries and want to get out on Boxing Day to see a football match.”
Derek believes that in the future a winter break would have benefit clubs and would bring the best out of players – but he would still keep hold of our traditional busy Christmas.
“I would have a winter break in January like they do have in most countries,” he said. “Three weeks off in January. I would reduce the size of the league but I’m not a chairman or on any FA board. That would probably go against most chairmen in the football league as they want to have more games to generate more income.
“I’ve had it a number of times in Scotland. It gives everyone a break from playing so many games. We are into the mid-twenties for games so it refreshes the batteries. We went to Spain last year which helped us immensely in the run in to the season as we were refreshed.”
Adams also believes it is hard for players to perform to their maximum capacity with four games within ten days including the traveling.
“They can’t,” he said. “It’s not humanly possible to do that. Every football team is exactly the same in the Christmas period; they are not playing at 100% capacity as it is impossible to do that, because of the amount of time they get to rest between games.”